15 Years to Cross the Technology Chasm ?


Final Jeopardy Answer

Fat Pipe/Thin Client, E-mail, VoIP, Equalizing

And the Question is…

What are  some recent technologies that took a minimum 15 years to cross the chasm from initial viability to widespread commercial acceptance?

Being old allows me to recall, with some historical perspective, the  timeframe it takes for a technology to make it  from production prototype into the mainstream. It is usually much longer than I have patience for. Today, when I see a technology emerging that is obviously superior to what the world is using , I always expect the adoption to take a few weeks.  When in reality, 50 years is close to the historical norm, and 15 years is light-speed for a product to go from concept to societal norm.

For example, Refrigeration and Commercial Air Travel took  50+ years to cross the chasm.  And I am not talking about from the crude idea stage to reality, but rather from the time frame of a working prototype, to wide-spread acceptance.  It was about fifty years from that first, stable airplane, to regular commercial air travel of the late 1950’s.  I should be happy that many of  the world’s technologies are maturing in 15 years, right?

From my historical observations, and a bit of Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org/), lazy man research, here are some  recently completed 15 year chasm crossings.

  • Before Cloud Computing we had, Fat Pipe/Thin Clients.

    This was all the rage of a key note speech by an Apple exec back in 1999 at a wireless conference in San Jose. I remember the speech well, as the exec spent the first 15 minutes making fun of Microsoft and their crotchety cumbersome desktop market. Now, 15 years later we can officially say that cloud computing has overtaken the bloated desktop computer, and small thin devices are the norm to connect with.

  • E-mail has always been around? 

    Well it did not take off until the late 90’s, more than 15 years after its wide use in the educational system. Yes, some early adopters had AOL dial-up accounts with e-mail,  but even as late as 1995 , voice mail was the dominant player for receiving non real-time messages.  I remember this because I worked for a company that was in the voice messaging Business (their logo looks like the Star War’s death star), and we were basically ignoring the e-mail market, and rolling out a major voice mail product release with huge expectations as late as 1995.  Yes, we were pushing other forms of communications – Lotus Notes was a big player then also, but E-mail hit that acceptance curve somewhere in the late 90’s to early 2000’s.

  • VoIP PBX

    Also at that same company, in the early 90’s we thought VoIP was the greatest thing since sliced bread. And we were making quality PBX’s that supported VoIP in the early 90’s.  In this case there was plenty of natural resistance to acceptance.

  1. The economic cash cow of embedded PBX’s pushed VoIP systems life-span out a few years.
  2. There was also just fear of using a new technology for something as important as an enterprise phone system. I would estimate that VoIP PBX’s started to outnumber the legacy installed base around 2005 or perhaps later.
  • NetEqualizer

    Equalizing technology for reigning in bandwidth abuse has always been superior to Layer 7 shaping, which incidentally rose up from 1995 to 2000 in just 5 years.  Equalizing has taken 15 years and is still on a linear acceptance curve.  There are several reasons for this:

1) The Equalizing concept crossed a chasm from traditional thinking of intuitive, hands-on control and moved to a heuristic approach which is not always obvious to the non-technical decision maker.

2) The graph below depicts how transit Bandwidth prices have dropped exponentially in the past 15 years. This has squeezed out the more expensive devices in the market , and slowed the need a bit at the NetEqualizer price point.

 
Year Internet Transit Prices (in Mbps, min commit) % Decline
1998
$1200
per Mbps
1999
$800
per Mbps 33%
2000
$675
per Mbps 16%
2001
$400
per Mbps 40%
2002
$200
per Mbps 50%
2003
$120
per Mbps 40%
2004
$90
per Mbps 25%
2005
$75
per Mbps 17%
2006
$50
per Mbps 33%
2007
$25
per Mbps 50%
2008
$12
per Mbps 52%
2009
$9.00
per Mbps 25%
2010
$5.00
per Mbps 44%
2011
$3.25
per Mbps 35%
2012
$2.34
per Mbps 28%
2013
$1.57
per Mbps 33%
2014
$0.94
per Mbps 40%
2015
$0.63
per Mbps 33%
Source: DrPeering.net

3)  NetEqualizer has stayed with a direct sales channel for the most part. The land-grab mentality of investing in a worldwide sales channel and going fast looks impressive but, with dropping bandwidth prices in some markets, is not a sustainable model due to the channel costs.

 So what will come to maturity 15 years from now ?

In my opinion the following technologies will have crossed the chasm in 2029:

1) Automobiles with standard braking sensors to avoid collisions will be the norm in 15 years.

2) Drones everywhere for anything traveling quickly that is not a human.  But I think the widespread commercial use will be 20+ years out.

3) House automation. You won’t be flipping switches to turn anything on or off in 15 years in a new house.

What are your predictions for 15 years out?

NetEqualizer News: June 2014


June 2014

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we preview our exciting Release 8.1 (Enhanced RTR), highlight one of our resellers in South Africa (Cybersmart), and show off our updated Libraries Guide. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Zack…
Zack Sanders, Network Engineer – APconnections

 

On Memorial Day (May 26th this year), 50,000 people descend upon Boulder, Colorado to run the BolderBoulder 10K race. Anyone can run the race, and some walk it as well. However, to get your best times (a PR, or “personal record”), I find that I need to develop a training plan and start training about two months before the race. This is always a big commitment for me mentally and physically, but I find it pays off in the end. This year I ran in 53 minutes, beating my goal time by 1 minute.  303809_10100390274244183_885235222_n

As an engineer on our Dynamic Real-Time Reporting tool, I find that I use this same skill to plan & execute my development work. I am happy to say that our Release 8.1 (Enhanced RTR) is on track for a late summer/early fall roll-out. You will see some of the initial screenshots below. We are very excited with how it is turning out.We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at zack@netequalizer.com. I would love to hear from you!

Sneak Peek at Release 8.1 (Enhanced RTR)

We are very excited to announce Release 8.1 (Enhanced RTR) – coming in late summer/early fall of this year! This release is special because it includes a new version of our popular Dynamic Real-Time Reporting (RTR) tool. The original RTR provided some basic functionality and served as a test to discover what our customers truly needed in a reporting feature. You gave us feedback, and we listened!

The new RTR tool enhances the features and capabilities of the existing RTR in many ways. Here are just a few:

1) New and improved graphing: We’ve added things like timestamps to the graph’s x-axis, a smart down-sampler in order to quickly graph up to 4 weeks of data, and the ability to show both upload and download bandwidth usage on the same graph.

2) Improved menu design with new graphs: We’ve created a new user interface with more intuitive pages and the ability to graph more data. For example, with the new RTR tool, you can graph bandwidth usage for individual IP addresses, subnets, pools, and VLAN’s.

3) Penalty graphs over time: We have a new graph which shows the number of penalties over time – allowing you to correlate bandwidth trends with penalties.

Over the next two months, we’ll be stress and load testing this tool to ensure seamless integration with your network and NetEqualizer. Stay tuned to NetEqualizer News for updates on this release!

Once Release 8.1 reaches GA, these features will be free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support who are running version 7.5+. If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300


Spotlight: Our South African Reseller, Cybersmart

Deep in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa resides the offices of Cybersmart – a company that supplies bandwidth circuits to cities and towns all over the country, ultimately serving tens of thousands of South African citizens. Some of these customers are wireless Internet service providers in remote regions, where bandwidth is still quite expensive.unnamed

Several years ago, they deployed a NetEqualizer on one of  their regional circuits, and at once became true believers in the elegance of the NetEqualizer philosophy and technology. Not only are they our customer, but they have also become our regional distributor in South Africa and neighboring countries – supporting and reselling equipment to regional ISPs and businesses. So, if you are ever in need of a bandwidth circuit, or a NetEqualizer in their region, please give them a call!

In April 2012, Managing Director Laurie Fialkov of Cybersmart issued a press release about its new uncapped ADSL product, which relied on the NetEqualizer as a backbone of its offering.

Portions of the press release are included here:
…The solution which provides Cybersmart with what it needs is a product called NetEqualizer. We were so impressed that we asked for distribution rights for South Africa, which was granted to us,” said Fialkov.

The way this product works, is it keeps track of the top TCP connections on a network. The NetEqualizer rates the connections based on how long the connection has been alive and how fast it is going. It will then slow the ‘top’ connections down so they are not unfairly using the bandwidth,” explains Fialkov. This solution means that business applications which use encryption are not arbitrarily slowed down (as is the case with many shaping solutions).

Fialkov added that the TCP rules will only be enforced during times when the network load is high. “If we are not under peak load then no connections are equalized at all,” said Fialkov.

Fialkov explained that, to be competitive, all ISPs need to oversell bandwidth to end-users – also known as contending bandwidth. What this means is that a certain number of users need to share the same bandwidth. “We are planning on overselling our uncapped product at 15:1 to 20:1, which we believe is a lot better than the current products in the market,” said Fialkov.

Fialkov then pointed out that automatic shaping via the NetEqualizer has ensured a good experience on uncapped accounts.

Cybersmart continues to use their NetEqualizer today, and has sold units across South Africa since mid-2012, based on their success implementing the NetEqualizer in their own business.

If you are in South Africa, and would like to learn more about the NetEqualizer, contact:

Laurie Fialkov at Cybersmart laurie@cybersmart.co.za


NetEqualizer Summary Guide for Libraries

This month we have updated our Libraries Guide. If you are a library and are considering a NetEqualizer, you may want to review our updated guide.unnamed

This short guide is focused on issues specific to Libraries and explains how the NetEqualizer is used by our library customers to address these common issues. This is a quick way to learn about how the NetEqualizer might apply to your environment.

And if you like real-life examples, you may also want to check out our Library Case Study with Washington County Cooperative Library Services. While the write-up is from 2012, the case study is still relevant today.

If you are a current library customer, this guide and case study are a great read to optimize your NetEqualizer configuration.

Take a look to see if there are features that you might not be using and want to take advantage of in your NetEqualizer installation. We would be happy to help you with your configuration.

If you are current on NSS, contact support@apconnections.net to get help optimizing your NetEqualizer.


Best Of The Blog

Is Your Bandwidth Controller Obsolete Technology?

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

Although not free yet, bandwidth contracts have been dropping in cost faster than a bad stock during a recession. With cheaper bandwidth costs, the question often arises on whether or not an enterprise can do without their trusty bandwidth controller.

Below, we have compiled a list of factors that will determine whether or not bandwidth controllers stick around for a while, or go the route of the analog modem, a relic of when people received their Internet From AOL and dial up…

Photo Of The Month
unnamed
Las Vegas Trail Running
Mountain trails are usually not the first thing to come to mind when one thinks about Las Vegas. Though the area is primarily known for gambling and world-class restaurants (among other things), the mountains surrounding the city offer an excellent escape from the concrete jungle and lights. This picture was recently taken on the summit of one of the small hills surrounding the Southern Highlands neighborhood south of The Strip. It was unclear why the flag exists on top.

Is Your Bandwidth Controller Obsolete Technology?


Although not free yet, bandwidth contracts have been dropping in cost faster than a bad stock during a recession.  With cheaper bandwidth costs , the question often arises on whether or not an enterprise can do without their trusty bandwidth controller.

Below, we have compiled  a list of factors that will determine whether or not Bandwidth controllers stick around for a while, or go the route of the analog modem,  a relic of when people received their Internet From AOL and dial up.

 

  • In Many areas of the world bandwidth prices are still very high. For example most of Africa,  and also Parts of the Middle East  they do not have the infrastructure in  place to deliver high speed low cost circuits . Bandwidth controllers are essential equipment in these regions.

 

  • Even in countries where bandwidth infrastructure is subsidized , and urban access is relatively cheap,  people like to work and play in remote places. Bandwidth consumers have come to expect bandwidth while choosing to live in a remote village. Many of these lifestyle choices find people far away from the main fiber lines that crisscross the urban landscape. Much like serving fresh seafood in mining camp, providing bandwidth to remote locations,  has a high price, and bandwidth controllers are more essential than ever in the remote areas of developed countries.   For example we are seeing a pick up in NetEqualizer interest in luxury resort hotels on tropical islands, and national parks , where high speed Internet is now a necessity but it is not cheap.

 

  • Government spending on Internet infrastructure has grown out of favor, at least in the US. After the recent waste and fraud scandals, don’t expect another windfall like the broad band initiative any time soon. Government subsidies were a one time factor in the drop in bandwidth prices during the 2007 to 2010 time frame.

 

  • As the market matures and providers look to show profit, they will be tempted to raise prices again, especially as demand grows.  The recession of 2007 drove down some commercial demand at a time when there was significant infrastructure increases in capacity, we may be at the tail end of that deflationary bubble.

 

  • There was also a one time infrastructure enhancement, that gained momentum around 2007,  this compounded the deflationary pressure on bandwidth . WDM technology allowed existing fiber to carry up to 16 times the original planned capacity.  We don’t expect any new infrastructure innovations of that magnitude to occur any time soon.  Moore’s law has finally cracked  (proved false) in the computer industry and so will the honeymoon increases in the carrying capacity of fiber.

 

  • Lastly, the wireless frequencies are crowded beyond capacity and bandwdith is still hard to find here, and operators are running out of tricks.

 

  • We must concede that we have seen cases where customers are getting bandwidth at such a low cost that they forgo investing in bandwidth controllers, but we expect that trend to flatten out as bandwidth prices hold steady or start to creep back up a bit in the coming decade.

 

 

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Layer 7 Shaping Officially Dead ?


Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you must change directions.

 

We have some nice color coded pie chart  graphs that show customers percentages of  their bandwidth by application. This feature is popular  really catches their eye.

In an effort to improve our latest layer 7  reporting feature, we have been collecting data from some of our Beta users.

Layer 7 PIe Chart

Layer 7 PIe Chart

 

 

The  accuracy of the Layer 7 data has always and continues to be an issue. Normally this is resolved by revising the layer 7 protocol patterns, which we use internally to identify the signatures of various applications.   We  had anticipated and planned to address accuracy in  a second release. However when we start to look at the root cause as to what is causing the missed classifications, we start to  see more cases of encrypted data. Encrypted data cannot be identified.

We then checked with one of our ISP customers in South Africa , who handles over a million residential users. It seems that some of their investment in Layer 7 classification is also being thwarted by increased encryption. And this is more  than the traditional p2p traffic,  encryption has spread to  the common social services such as face book.

 

Admittedly some of this early data is anecdotal,  but two independent observers reporting increased encryption is hard to ignore.

 

Evidently the increased encryption techniques now being used by common applications,  is a back lash to all the security issues bogging down the Internet.  There are workarounds for enterprises that must use layer 7 classification to prioritize traffic; however the workarounds require that all devices using the network must be retrofitted with special software to identify the traffic on the device ( IPAD , Iphone). Such a workaround is impractical for an ISP.

 

The net side effect is , that if this trend continues traditional layer 7 packet shapers will become museum pieces right beside old Atari Games, and giant 3 pound cell phones.

 

 

 

 

NetEqualizer News: May 2014


May 2014

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we preview our new NetEqualizer Cloud Reporting feature, show off our new Internet Providers Guide, and highlight one of our international resellers – Reinaldo Neilla. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

I must admit that my head has been in the clouds a lot lately, as I like to bird watch, and the spring migrations are in full swing here in Colorado. I saw two “life birds” this spring (a life bird is the first time you see a bird in the wild) – the Common Yellowthroat Warbler (not common in my part of Colorado!) and a Lesser Goldfinch (only a tiny slice of its range is in Boulder).art_small

I guess staring at all those clouds gave me an idea, which I share with you this month in more detail below. In a nutshell, we can use the cloud to help store longer periods of data for reporting. Read more about our upcoming NetEqualizer Cloud Reporting offering below.

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@netequalizer.com. I would love to hear from you!

NetEqualizer Cloud Reporting

Coming this July, we will offer the ability to store up to one year of reporting data from our Dynamic Real-Time Reports onto a cloud server. The benefits will be numerous, as it will be complete turn key access to historical usage at the touch of button.

For example, if you want to know what your usage data looked like for the same month last year, you can pull it up instantly.

graph

To get started, the requirements will be fairly simple:

1) Your NetEqualizer must have access to the Internet (our cloud server).
2) You must sign up for an account with us. There will be a yearly charge for this service:
– $1,000 for small installations (<= 300 users) – $2,000 for medium installations (> 300 users, <= 1000 users) – $3,000 for large installations (> 1000 users)

Retrieval will be as easy as providing a date range, and IP or subnet. In version 1.0, all usage will be IP based.

We will also include reports for system protocol usage (Netflix, YouTube, etc.) depending on demand for this information in coming releases.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at:

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300


NetEqualizer Summary Guide for Internet Providers

This month we have updated our Internet Providers Guide. If you are a telecommunications, satellite systems, cable, or wireless/wired Internet Services Provider (ISP), and are considering a NetEqualizer, you may want to review our updated Internet Providers Guide.isp_wp

This summary guide (2-3 pages) is focused on issues specific to Internet Providers, and explains how the NetEqualizer is used by our customers to address these common issues. This is a quick way to learn about how the NetEqualizer might apply to your environment.

If you are a current customer, these guides are a great read to optimize your NetEqualizer configuration. Take a look to see if there are features that you might not be using and want to take advantage of in your NetEqualizer installation. We would be happy to help you with your configuration.

If you are current on NetEqualizer Software and Support (NSS), contact:

support@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300

to get help optimizing your NetEqualizer.


Spotlight: Our South American Reseller, Reinaldo Neilla

As many of our customers know, we sell directly to businesses in most geographies, particularly the U.S. and Canada. However, in some areas of the world, we work with reseller organizations. Many of these international resellers started as our customers, loved our product, and asked to get involved in building out the marketplace in their country.

We find that our international resellers are great at navigating customs requirements, communicating in local languages, and sharing their technical knowledge of the NetEqualizer.

This month we profile one of them, Telefonia Publica y Privada S.A. (TPP S.A.). TPP is an Argentinian WISP with over 30,000 broadband users in different cities in the interior of Argentina (growing at a rate of 450 per month). Reinaldo Neilla of TPP has been using a NetEqualizer for his business since July 2008.

According to Reinaldo, “the NetEqualizer helps us (TPP) to automatically and economically provide flow control for our customers. We converted from an Allot NetEnforcer and have never looked back.”

TPP represents NetEqualizer to customers in South America. If you are in South America, and would like to talk to or email Reinaldo, you can find his contact information on our web page, here:

NetEqualizer TPP Profile


Home Networking Tip

We often have networking tutorials in our blog – but not all of them are for enterprise networks. Recently, our Co-Founder, Steve Wagor, wrote a how-to on improving wireless dead spots in your home and setting up wireless home music. Check it out!


Best Of The Blog

Why Does Fear Sell over Value for IT?

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

When Willie Sutton was asked, why do you rob Banks? He replied, “Because that is where the money is.”

Why do companies sell fear? Ask Willie Sutton. :)

From Y2K and ozone holes, to IP4 address space, sales channels love a good crises to drive a sale. The funny thing is, from my experience, the process of adjusting a product line to accommodate customer fear is evolutionary, akin to natural selection, and not a preplanned conspiracy. Demand seems to be created from some external uncontrolled upwelling, and not from a hard sell within the vendor ranks…

Photo Of The Month

IMG_0040

Common Yellowthroat Warbler
Common Yellowthroats are small songbirds that have olive backs, wings and tails, yellow throats and chests, and white bellies. Adult males have black face masks which stretch from the sides of the neck across the eyes and forehead, which are bordered above with white or gray. Females are similar in appearance, but have paler underparts and lack the black mask. These birds are on the move this time of year through Colorado.

An Easy Way to Get Rid of Wireless Dead Spots and Get Whole Home Music


By Steve Wagor, Co-Founder APconnections

Wireless dead spots are a common problem in homes and offices that expand beyond the range of single wireless access point. For example in my home office, my little Linksys Access point works great on my main floor , but down in my basement the signal just does not reach very well. The problem with a simple access point is if you need to expand your area you must mesh a new one, and off the shelf they do not know how to talk to each other.

For those of you have tried to expand your home network into a mesh with multiple access points there are howto’s out there for rigging them up

Many use wireless access points that are homemade, or the commercial style made for long range. With these solutions you will most likely need a rubber ducky antenna and either some old computers or at least small board computers with attached wireless cards. You will also need to know a bit of networking and setup most of these types of things via what some people would consider complex commands to link them all up into the mesh.

Well its a lot easier than that if you don’t need miles and miles of coverage using off the shelf Apple products. These are small devices with no external antennas.

First you need to install an Apple Extreme access point:
http://www.apple.com/airport-extreme
– at the time of this being written it is $199 and has been at that price for at least a couple of years now.

Now for every dead spot you just need the Apple Express:
http://www.apple.com/airport-express/
– at the time of this being written it is $99 and has been at that price for at least a couple of years now too.

So for every dead spot you have you can solve the problem for $99 after the Apple Extreme is installed. And Apple has very good install instructions on the product line so you don’t need to be a network professional to configure it. Most of it is simple point and click and all done via a GUI and without having to go to a command line ever.

For whole home music fairly effortlessly you can use the Analog/Optical Audio Jack on the back of the Airport Express and plug into your stereo or externally powered speakers. Now connect your iPhone or Mac product up to the same wireless network provided by your Airport Extreme and you can use Airplay to toggle on all or any of the stereos that your network has access to. So if you let your guests access your wireless network and they have an iPhone with Airplay then they could let you listen to anything they are playing by using Airplay to play it on your stereo for example while you are working out together in your home gym.

The Internet, Free to the Highest Bidder.


 

It looks like the FCC has  caved,

“The Federal Communications Commission said on Wednesday that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay Internet service providers.”

- WSJ article April 2014

Compare today’s statements to those made back in  January and February, when  the FCC was posturing  like a fluffed up Tom Turkey for Net Neutrality.

 

“I am committed to maintaining our networks as engines for economic growth, test beds for innovative services and products, and channels for all forms of speech protected by the First Amendment”

- Tom Wheeler FCC chairman Jan 2014

 

“The FCC could use that broad authority to punish Internet providers that engage in flagrant net-neutrality violations, Wheeler suggested. The agency can bring actions with the goal of promoting broadband deployment, protecting consumers, or ensuring competition, for example.”

-Tom Wheeler Jan 2014

As I eluded to back then, I did not give their white night rhetoric much credence.

“The only hope in this case is for the FCC to step in and take back the Internet. Give it back to the peasants. However, I suspect their initial statements are just grandstanding politics.  This is, after all, the same FCC that auctions off the airwaves to the highest bidder.”

- Art Reisman  Feb 2014

 

It seems to me the FCC is now a puppet agency of regulation. How can you  start by talking about regulating abuses threatening free access to the Internet, and then without blinking an eye, offer up a statement that Rich Guys can  now pay for privileged access to the Internet ?

I don’t know whether to cry or be cynical at this point. Perhaps I should just go down to my nearest public library , and pay somebody to stock their shelves with promotional NetEqualizer Material?

 

 

“The court said that because the Internet is not considered a utility under federal law, it was not subject to that sort of regulation.”

 

Quotes Referenced from New York Times article FCC in shift backs fast lanes for Web Traffic

 

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